Traceability- Time Consuming, but Necessary

I have written about tracking Wasabi Ventures Stables’ horses in the past. You can read the articles by clicking here and here. Recently, someone asked for tips and tricks. Here is my current strategy:

  • When any horse is added to the WVS family, it is added to the appropriate spreadsheet. (We breed and race, so the categories are separate.)
  • Once any of these horses is of racing age, they are added to my Equibase stable.
  • I also have sheets for horses that previously ran for us; horses that were bred and sold by us; broodmares (both with us and no longer owned by us); horses that are retired; horses that are “inactive”.
  • Every week I review my spreadsheets, looking to see if any horse has been inactive for longer than two months.
  • For horses that reach that length of inactivity, I search for contact information for the owner or trainer.
  • I then reach out to the appropriate person, explain my role, and request an update on the horse’s status. Any communication received is added to the spreadsheet.
  • If I can’t find a point of contact or receive no reply, I conduct online searches for retirees. I do these even for horses who have been retired for years, because every once in a while a new combination of words can find a horse.
  • For retirees, I request an update and photo/video once a year.
  • Lather, rinse, repeat.

My traceability successes

Since I started tracking our horses, I definitely have made progress. I have many more connections in the Thoroughbred world. These associates can help make contact with a trainer or owner. They also can help with retirement placements for horses in need. These people also are resources with whom I can brainstorm ideas.

Another area in which I see progress is the communication between myself and owners and/or trainers. In the past few months, I have reached out to one or the other with questions about inactive horses. Each and every one replied, explaining the reason for the time off or the retirement. I am hopeful that all future contacts will reply in such a manner.

Coincidentally, as I was writing this article, The Jockey Club announced their next phase in the traceability project. They will be contacting owners of horses who show two years of inactivity. I applaud these initial efforts.

While The Jockey Club’s new endeavor is just their first step, I am hopeful we can provide even better tracking for Thoroughbreds, on and off the track. My dream would be the creation of an Equibase for retired racehorses. Rather than just marking horses as “retired from racing”, why not then move them to an Equibase 2.0, where new owners could be listed? Want to find the horse who was claimed away from you seven years ago but has been retired? Just search there!

It has taken a few years for me to refine my process of Thoroughbred tracking, but it has proven to be effective on keeping tabs on all of our horses. If you are thinking about doing the same for your horses, feel free to email me if you have any questions.